Posted by Kate on February 02, 1998 at 17:43:24:
In response to Servants and stewards and butlers (oh my!) :-), written by MariaH on February 02, 1998 at 12:35:21
] What would be the duties of the servants in a big house (like Pemberley fro example) - what would a steward be responsible for as opposed to the butler? Or a footman, valet, housemaid, housekeeper?
Were responsible for the running of the estate. A steward was like an estate manager - especially important if you spent half the year in Hertfordshire or London. They would do stuff like collect rents from tenants, manage the farm, pay debts etc. A steward was not a servant.
Butlers, housemaids, housekeepers, footmen etc are all subsets of the overall set "servants" which would basically cover all the indoor and outdoor help. The most senior servant were the butler (male) and the housekeeper (female) who managed the other servants and also had specific tasks. The other servants, of whom there would be many in a house like Pemberley would include
Cook (most senior)
scullery maids (washed dishes, and did heavy kitchen work)
parlour maid (serving food, answering the door)
footmen (answering the door, travelling on the carriage)
laundry maids (cleaning linen)
bootboy (cleaning shoes)
nursery maids (looking after little children)
There were also "tweenies" or "in-between" maids, who did work both upstairs (in the house) and downstairs (in the kitchen)
ladies' maids (caring for clothes, dressing, doing hair)
valets (ditto for men, and shaving)
There would also be a heap of gardeners etc, and staff looking after the horses, coachmen and so on.
And then there were governesses, who were not strictly speaking servants, but were not family either, so they lived in a netherworld between.
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